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A man who says council failures to deal with his special educational needs when he was a schoolboy have blighted hi...
A man who says council failures to deal with his special educational needs when he was a schoolboy have blighted his adult life has had his hopes of a massive compensation pay-out dashed by a top judge.

Richard Flaxman-Binns, now aged 24, claims he is a victim of 'educational negligence' and, had more been done to help him when he was young, he could have overcome his speech and communication difficulties.

He sued Lincolnshire CC for the 'associated misery' of being deprived of a decent education.

But Judge Peter Heppel QC today dealt Mr Flaxman-Binns a heavy blow when he 'struck out' his claim because of the delays in bringing it to court.

The allegations of negligence against the council go all the way back to 1984-1991 and, had Mr Flaxman-Binns been allowed to go ahead with his case the council would have been faced by a massively expensive 20 day trial which could not have started until 2005.

Many of the potential witnesses would, by then, either be dead or well beyond retirement age, the court heard.

Judge Heppel said he could not be sure, so many years after the events in question, that a 'fair trial' would be possible.

Mr Roger Ter Haar QC, for Mr Flaxman-Binns, had argued the delay resulted, amongst other things, from the fluctuating state of the law relating to educational negligence and difficulties in obtaining legal aid.

But the judge said Mr Flaxman-Binns himself could not be 'entirely absolved from all blame' for the delays. Ruling that 'enough is enough', the judge entered judgement in favour of the council.

Mr Flaxman-Binns, of Hackthorn Road, Welton, Lincolnshire, claimed the council had failed to educate him properly in the light of his speech and communication difficulties and associated behavioural and emotional problems.

His childhood had been marked by being placed in and then withdrawn from a series of schools. His parents were at loggerheads with the council and a 1989 complaint to the Local Governm ent Ombudsman resulted in a finding of 'maladministration' against the council, said the judge.

But, despite Mr Ter Haar's pleas, Judge Heppel struck out Mr Flaxman-Binns' case because of the 'substantial delay' in pursuing his damages claim.


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